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why he could live by himself all those years, and .a big, strong
man like that. Why he could be the way he was. Why, you
don't know—why, he had a picture of my mother on a table in
his room, and he'd look at it every night—I've seen him, when
he didn't know—and talk to it sometimes, just say a little
something that didn't mean anything, like somebody around
the house. You'd never guess that, would you?" She paused,
regarding him. Then she demanded, " Now, would you?"

"No," he replied.

"Nobody would," she said. "But that's why, and I'd see
him and hear him, and lie awake and want to be like that.
And then-----"

"Then what?"

"Then you," she finished. She rose from the chair, but
did not move away from it. The faint light struck at an
angle upward across her face, " But it wasn't any use," she
said then. " I thought it was, at first. But it wasn't."

" It's too bad," he rejoined.

" You needn't feel sorry for me," she told him; then added
bitterly: "I don't for you. There's others worse. Tol-

" Tolliver," he repeated, " Tolliver; I hadn't thought of him
in a long time."

" Tolliver, talking to people all his life, crowds, never being
anything except when his voice was talking to crowds; if he
had anything in him, any life, sucking it out of crowds,
talking. Crowds and women. Never being anything except
when he thought somebody else thought he was something.
Just that-----"

"That bastard," Mr. Munn declared, without warmth.

"—like sucking blood, living off something else. That's
why he was always after women, not even because he wanted

" The bastard," Mr. Munn said again. He rose to a sitting
position on the bed, and swung his legs over the side to the

" That's why he was after me.  I know; I could tell."